We chat with Wayne Mabry before his big day next month
Wayne Mabry is unclear about exactly where he will be on game days during the NFL regular season this fall, but he precisely knows his whereabouts Aug. 8.
That Sunday morning just hours before Raiders legends Charles Woodson and Tom Flores enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Mabry — simply known as The Violator in the Raider Nation — will be among three NFL die-hard fans inducted into the Ford Hall of Fans at the museum. He was inducted in February at the same time Woodson and Flores got their call to Canton.
“To have two Raiders legends from two different eras and myself inducted the same day, I call it a Raiders’ trifecta,” Mabry told Silver and Black Pride in an interview on Wednesday. “I don’t think we’ll see it happen again in our lifetime … I have to get a picture of all us together to mark the special day.”
Mabry said he is “elated” about the honor and it’s the “real deal.” Mabry was a Raiders’ season ticket holder for 37 years in both Los Angeles and Oakland. During the Raiders’ entire 25-season second stint in Oakland, Mabry would drive north from his house in Southern California to every home game to fire up fellow fans both in the parking lot at the Raiders’ famous tailgate parties and inside the stadium. He said this honor is about all of those years.
“It’s about the relationships built,” Mabry said. “I call myself a Raiders’ ambassador.”
While going into the Ford Hall of Fans is a culmination for Mabry, he isn’t sure of this future. Yes, he will remain in character as The Violator on game days, but he is not sure where …
Mabry hasn’t roamed Raiders’ home games since 2019. Of course, the pandemic wiped out the first season at Allegiant Stadium as far as fans were concerned, and since then he hasn’t been able to secure tickets for the place he calls “the eighth wonder of the world” for the 2021 season yet. Mabry, who is retired, said the outrageous prices for tickets in Las Vegas have simply “priced him out.”
Is a Raiders’ home game really a Raiders’ game without The Violator roaming the stands and preening for the cameras?
“I’ve been asked that question a lot,” Mabry said. “Hopefully, something can be worked out.”
Are you hearing this Mark Davis?
Mabry does plan on being in Las Vegas every weekend for Raiders’ home games, however, and hopes to be part of some pre-game events and hopefully find his way into the stadium as much as possible. His next goal is to find a way to get an RV and roam the country for all Raiders’ games (a la Raiders’ coaching legend John Madden when he was part of the Monday Night Football crew).
For now, it’s onto Canton, where Mabry and small group of family and friends will celebrate. But Mabry knows he will have plenty of support.
“From the reports I’m getting the Raider Nation will be out in force,” Mabry said. “That’s my family.”
Mabry’s book, The WALK: Footsteps of My Journey is available on Amazon.com now.